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Tag:Mark Reynolds
Posted on: September 23, 2009 2:29 pm
 

Mark Reynolds, Strike Out King... Again

I would be remiss if I did not note that Mark Reynolds beat his own all time strikeout record last night.  I have been a Mark Reynolds apologist all season and will continue to do so.  I would like it if he struck out less, but his production ranks up there with any of the top names. 

2nd in NL HR, more than Prince Fielder
4th in NL SLG, higher than Adrian Gonzalez
12th in NL OPS, higher than Ryan Howard
9th in NL RBI, more than Chase Utley
11th in NL SB, as many as Shane Victorino
14th in NL BB, more than David Wright

A strikeout is only worse than an out made by a ball put in play when there are runners in scoring position and less than two outs.  Even then a lot of the time the hit ball does not result in a "productive out."  And a strikeout is only better than an out made by a ball put in play when there is a runner on first, less than two outs, and it is a ground ball.  Most of the time, an out is an out.  While it's not the type notoriety that the Diamondbacks want, it does put them back in the headlines after six months of obscurity.  So hate on haters, keep your David Wrights and Alex Rodriguezes

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 7, 2009 10:03 am
 

The Case for Mark Reynolds

Mark Reynolds should be the last player added to the NL All Star team.  He clearly has better power numbers than any of the other four and has a respectable amount of stolen bases as well. While he is the only player hitting under .300, his power numbers are so much better than the other players it more than makes up for the lower average. 

He has 100% more homeruns than the next highest player, Sandoval, and 38% more RBI than the next two highest players, Kemp and Sandoval.  He is third in the NL in RBI, second in HR behind only Albert Pujols, and tied for ninth in SB.  He has a higher SLG than the other four, only behind Pablo Sandoval in OPS, and only behind Shan Victorino in runs scored.       

As far as contributing to his team Reynolds has 18% of his team’s RBI, the highest percentage of any of the five, 15% of his team’s runs, the highest percentage of the five, and 12% of his team’s total hits, which is about where the other four are as well.  


Below are the numbers for the player’s RBI, runs, and hits, followed by the percentage of that player’s teams total RBI, runs, and hits.   

Reynolds 61 RBI, 18%, 53 R, 15%, 81 H, 12% DBACKS 338 RBI 358 R 687 H

Sandoval 44 RBI, 14%, 37 R, 11%, 93 H, 13%
SF 316 RBI 337 R 721 H 35

Victorino 35 RBI, 9%, 55 R, 13.5%, 96 H, 13.7% PHI 393 RBI 407 R 698 H

Guzman 21 RBI, 6%, 41 R, 11.7%, 92 H, 13% WAS 337 RBI 350 R 712 H

Kemp 44 RBI, 11.7%, 43 R, 11%, 92 H, 12% LA 375 RBI 398 R 774 H

*Stats as of 7/6/09

Posted on: July 6, 2009 12:18 pm
 

Mark Reynolds Speaks Out

"It seems like we get down one or two runs and no one (cares) anymore."

The words Mark Reynolds spoke Friday came as a great relief to many Diamondbacks fans who have felt the same way for most of the season.  This team doesn’t try.  They play lackadaisically.  They just don’t seem to care.  Now, finally, we know that at least one of the players feels the same way.    

Reynolds continued, "This is the major leagues. You can't go out there and make three errors a night and expect to win a game. We look like the Bad News Bears out there and it's frustrating. It's to the point where stuff's got to change."

One of the major problems with this team is that there is a lack of leadership.  There are no veteran position players that play everyday that can guide this young team.  Except for Felipe Lopez, a journeyman, there is not one everyday position player has played more than three seasons in the Majors.  And the manager they just gave a three year contract to not only appears to be very non confrontational, but also had never managed one game of professional baseball, major league or minor, in his life.  Not really the person that most would have picked to lead a young team with no veteran presence. 

This season will actually end up helping the Diamondbacks in the years to come.  This is the season where a fairly inexperience group of players is learning to deal with constant injuries, critical media and fans, persistent trade rumors, and failed expectations.  This season many of the players on the Diamondbacks will learn what it means to be in Major League Baseball. 

I have maintained that at its core this team is a good team with good players.  With a few more pieces and a few less injuries they will be one of the better teams in baseball in the future.  The Diamondbacks could possibly have three All Stars this year; genuinely bad teams do not have three All Stars.  Right now the only NL teams with three or more players going are the Cardinals, Phillies, Dodgers, and Mets, with the Mets being the only team not in first place in their division.

Now it is up the players on the Diamondbacks to figure out what kind of team they want to be for the rest of the season.  Since Reynolds spoke out the Diamondbacks won their next two games and won their first series since June 18.  I am not expecting them to go .500 the rest of the season, but I am hoping that the bumbling, lazy play is something that is behind them.  

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 1, 2009 12:17 pm
 

Diamondbacks Mid-Season Report Card

Catcher
Miguel Montero is currently hitting .255 and is getting better defensively.  Chris Snyder is currently injured but was having an average season as well.

Grade C


First Base

The biggest problem with this position is that they do not have a first baseman.  They have used four different players at this position this season, Chad Tracy, Mark Reynolds, Tony Clark, and Josh Whitesell.  Only Reynolds has been able to hit with any success and only Whitesell has been able to field with any proficiency.  In addition, neither Tracy nor Reynolds are true first basemen, they are stop gaps moved from third base when the need arises. 

 

Grade F

 

Second Base

Felipe Lopez is a decent hitter, hitting .303, but he is a terrible second baseman.  He is out of position a lot of the time and shows no hustle at all.  Once you see him play everyday it is very obvious why he is nothing more than a journeyman playing on his fifth team in 8 years.

 

Grade C

 

Third Base

 

Mark Reynolds has been having a great season and is among the league’s top hitters in power number categories.  His replacements, however, have not shared his success. Ryan Roberts is batting .257 and Augie Ojeda is batting .234.  Reynolds has trouble fielding some routine plays, but has also made some incredible plays at other times.  Unfortunately for the Diamondbacks he is the best fielding player at that position with a fielding percentage of .945.  In fairness to the other two, Roberts and Ojeda have both been used all over the infield this season, but Roberts has a 3B fielding percentage of .920 and Ojeda a dismal .880.

 

Grade B+

 

Shortstop

 

Because of the expectations going into the season this has been one of the more disappointing positions for the Diamondbacks.  Stephen Drew was thought to be in the top five to ten shortstops at the beginning of the year.  He was injured for some time and is currently is hitting .251 on the season with a respectable fielding percentage of .980.  He has improved his batting average every month, and hit .292 for June.  If he continues to play like he did in June shortstop will be one of the bright spots on this team.

 

Grade B

 

Left Field

 

This position is most likely the weakest spot on the team.  The projected starter at the beginning of the season, Conor Jackson, is not much for power but hits consistently around .300.  He has been out most of the season with Valley Fever and was hitting only .182 while he was playing.  The next player for this position is Eric Byrnes, batting .216, making bizarre errors and diving after unreachable balls, and fielding only .964.  He was recently put on the DL for a broken hand.  The final player at this position is Gerardo Parra, a AA call up.  He started out very hot when he was first called up, but has since cooled off, which was expected. 

 

Grade D-

 

Center Field

 

While there have been several players to play this position the large majority of starts have been made by Chris Young.  Young is batting an abysmal .194 with no pop in his swing this year.  He has looked completely lost at times and although an above average fielder there have been fly balls hit at the warning track where it appears that he is afraid of running into the wall to make a crucial out.

 

Grade F

 

Right Field

 

Justin Upton is coming into his own.  He’s the best hitter on the team with a .320 average and an OPS of .975, but still makes simple mistakes in the field and at times has shown his age. 

 

 

Grade A

 

 

Starting Pitching

 

Dan Haren is the best pitcher in the National League and fellow starters Doug Davis and Max Scherzer have both had good seasons as well with sub 4.00 ERAs.  Jon Garland and the fill in the blank fifth starter have both struggled.  Losing Brandon Webb on Opening Day definitely put an unexpected burden on this piece of the team and they have won only 2 of the starts in his place in the rotation.

 

 

Grade B

 

Bullpen

 

Every pitcher in the bullpen has struggled at times this season, possibly with the exception of Clay Zavada, a AA call up.  Every pitcher has been personally responsible for losing a game for the Diamondbacks this season regardless of whether or not they actually have a loss on their record.  They have been embarrassing and inconsistent and none of them have lived up to any expectations the team or the fans may have had at the beginning of the season.

 

Grade F

 

Overall Grades

 

Offense

Two players batting over .300, team average ranks 27 in MLB and OPS ranks 21. 

 

Overall Grade D

 

Defense

Most errors in the majors.

 

Overall grade F

 

Pitching

Team ERA is ranked 22 in MLB.

 

Grade D

 

Overall Team Grade

Third worst winning percentage in all of baseball.

 

F

Posted on: June 17, 2009 11:54 am
 

The Guts to Pull the Plug?

Anyone out there who doesn’t think the Diamondbacks should start trying to move players immediately needs to sit down and actually watch this team.  More often than not they are not good, and more often than not they are not really in the game.  Last night they had only one more hit than error in a 5-0 loss to the Royals.

 

There are things that certain players do that give you hope for the future.  If they get a few more pieces and they can get Brandon Webb back to his old self there is no reason they will not be able to compete next year.  This year however is a lost cause.  They are 11 games under .500, 16 games behind in the division, 8 games back in the wild card race with only the Nationals behind them, and have the second worst record in all of baseball.  

 

There are 97 games left, so it’s easy to say that there is a lot of baseball still to be played.  To reach .500 on the season they need to play .556 baseball for the next three and a half months. Currently only 5 teams in baseball have winning percentages over .556.  Is it very realistic to say that the Diamondbacks will be able to be one of the top five teams in baseball the rest of the season?

 

It is time to stop being so myopic about this team.  This season they just aren’t going to do it.  It doesn’t mean that we stop watching them for the rest of the year, it doesn’t mean that we can’t find good things within the team despite their record.  Mark Reynolds was just named co NL MVP for last week.  Max Scherzer is one of the more exciting pitchers to watch and he’s just getting started.  Dan Haren has been utterly dominant almost every fifth day for the team. 

 

The team as whole does not work and Josh Byrnes needs to start making the changes necessary to get the team ready to compete next season.  No one on the team, in the front office, sitting in the stands, or watching on their couch at home wants to see a sequel to the 2009 season anytime soon.       

Posted on: June 15, 2009 6:19 pm
 

Another Weekend, Another Two Losses

Another disappointing weekend for the Diamondbacks.  They took close games and turned them into ones that were out of reach.  The bullpen inherited runners and allowed a good majority of them to score.  They won the first game of the series but then could not find a way to win one of the next two and secure a series win, something they have done only two or three times this season. 

They were playing a very winnable series, the Astros have not been a great team this season, but unfortunately that hasn't mattered much for the Diamondbacks this season.  Regardless of who they play they just seem to lose.  There is always one part of the team that cannot produce or hold up their end of the bargain while the other areas play reasonably well.  Rest assured either the hitting, starting pitching, defense, or bullpen will have a bad night and give up the runs or fail to get the runs that the other areas cannot make up.

Mark Reynolds continued to have success.  If he continues to grow like he has been this season he will be a vital part of the team for years to come.  It is not unreasonable to think that he will be a player who hits 40 HR and bats around .270 every year.  He still strikes out a ton, but when he does make contact he seems to be getting on base.  In most situations it doesn't really matter if a player stikes out, flies, or grounds out.  So what he brings to the team far outweighs any negatives that he may cause by setting strike out records.  

The team plays the Royals next, and again plays a winnable series.  The Royals have come down to Earth after a great start, but the Diamondbacks right now are one of the worst teams in the league, so I'm sure the Royals are saying the same thing. 
Category: MLB
Posted on: June 1, 2009 4:01 pm
 

May wrapped up, here comes June

Bad weekend.  Two blowout games that were basically over before the fans were settled in their seats.  Jon Garland was making excuses about the roof and the mound instead of just admitting that he sucked, but one does have to ponder why he’s so bad at Chase Field.  At least Max Scherzer came out and said he just didn’t have it.

 

If you can take away one positive it’s that the bullpen performed at an acceptable level.  Yesterday they shut down the Braves from the sixth inning on.  Hopefully that will give them confidence that can carry over to successful outings when the game is actually still competitive. 

 

As May comes to a close things are starting to look up, even if only a little.  The team hit a dreadful and MLB worst .231 in the month of April, in May they have a .251 average.  I didn’t really support the Melvin firing and still maintain that it wasn’t necessarily his fault that the team wasn’t producing, but there has been a marked improvement in the offense since A.J. Hinch and batting coach Jack Howell took over.

 

We will have to see how June turns out, but at least games are now fun to watch (most days).  If the team can continue to make strides at the plate, continues to get consistent production form Felipe Lopez, Justin Upton, and Mark Reynolds, and guys like Eric Byrnes and Chris Snyder play like they did in May the team could still have a shot at the wild card.  Don’t forget, Brandon Webb is expected to return before the All Star break, which essentially turns that loss they get every fifth time into a win. 

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com